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  • Hillels of Georgia

Recognizing Jewish Values on MLK Day

By Shaina Lubliner, Engagement Coordinator, Hillel at Georgia Tech

Here at Hillel at Georgia Tech, we made Martin Luther King Day a day on instead of a day off. The students woke up bright and early on Monday morning to participate in Repair the World's Do Good at Home Program with the Packaged Good. Repair the World Atlanta “mobilizes Jews and their communities to take action to pursue a just world, igniting a lifelong commitment to service.” Repair offered an entire menu of programs for MLK Day, including options to serve in person safely, serve virtually, or serve at home. Hillel at Georgia Tech chose the serve at home option, and because of that we were able to connect with The Packaged Good and Solidarity Sandy Springs, both local Atlanta area organizations that seek to assist community members with food insecurity.

The excellent energy created at this event makes me so excited to see what other Tzedek projects the GT Hillel students will accomplish this semester. Monday's efforts were spearheaded by Marin Londe, a first-year civil engineering student who is serving as GT's Serve the Moment Intern. Serve the Moment is an initiative created by Hillel International and Repair the World to mobilize 100 Campus Corps student interns at 100 campuses, engaging at least 2,600 students in service and 5,100 acts of service and learning over the next year.

Nearly 20 students, both Jewish and non-Jewish, chose to spend their day doing good for others. Together they packed 78 care packages for Solidarity Sandy Springs. These care packages included snacks and a handmade card created by the students wishing the recipients a happy MLK Day. This event allowed students the opportunity to give back to their community while building relationships with one another and participating in meaningful conversations surrounding Dr. King’s legacy and racial justice in America.

Our Jewish values of tzedek (justice) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and Georgia Tech’s school motto of Progress and Service naturally led the students to desire an opportunity to do good for their community on their day off. Black Americans and U.S. Jews worked closely together during the civil rights era, with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marching with Dr. King during the Selma to Montgomery marches. Dr. King fought against antisemitism and defended Israel’s right to exist. In 2020, while our country strives to realize its founding vision of “liberty and justice for all,” Georgia Tech Hillel students embrace it head on, participating widely in Hillels of Georiga’s Tikkun Olam Racial Justice Initiative and setting goals for Tikkun Olam service programs throughout the semester. Students not only recognized the importance of honoring Dr. King in service, but took a major role in the planning and execution of the day’s event, demonstrating their passion and desire for social good.

Stay tuned for what other amazing projects the students at GT get up to this semester!

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